“Darkness Returns”

by ESP on April 8, 2013 · 9 comments

Yes…finally some dark skies and rain arrived in central Austin this past week.

When storms like this blow through the Patch all hell breaks loose. Post oaks groan, giant timber bamboo culms clatter together like 70ft wind chimes, banshees scream and baskervilles howl. A few minutes before a front hits I prepare a beverage and sit on my back deck with a Mexican blanket at arms-reach (it is all in the preparation) to watch the show.

As the rain starts, so does my smile…though it is not my public smile, the one reserved for normal people, oh no, this is my real smile, a smile not encumbered by the social norms, a smile so demented that I do not want to witness it.


The harder the rain comes down the more Jack Torrance it becomes, 


and this time I had a lot to “smile” about.


My decomposed granite pathways turn into rivers as water runs down my side granite driveway into my back garden – which is just how I like it.

And if you catch it at just the right moment…


The water flow reaches about 2/3rds of the way back into the garden and it will sit there until the rain subsides before draining into the planting beds. This latest rain picked up a bunch of plastic eggs left over from our Easter egg hunt.


“Don’t let the giant catch you with that…and go clean your fingernails.”


This water flow does not move the granite, in fact after an hour or so of draining the only remains of a gully washer are some tide-lines of organic debris that are scooped up and thrown into the adjacent planting beds.


I unfortunately once caught my real “smile” in the above mirror one night when I was standing at the top of these steps. 

It was perfectly timed, the white flash of the lightning highlighting my face as I marveled at the downpour.


With the water receding they quickly got to work,


for it was the time of snails.

Drool Lori.

Moving Along:


Cream De Mint™ Dwarf Mock Orange,

Pittosporum tobira ‘Shima’

getting slapped in the face by a holly fern, oxalis filling in the scene.


Jerusalem sage,

Phlomis fruticosa


look like “Mogwai” at this time of year with their inquisitive ears flapping around in the wind.


Loquats are ripening fast, the ones in arms reach get harvested almost immediately by little fingers.

These shiny insects are appearing all over the place right now, they seem particularly fond of citrus, clustering and clambering over themselves on the leaves.


Largus nymphs?  Why do they huddle like this?

I moved fast when my daughter pointed out that this common house spider was right next to my hand as I moved a container.



Unfortunately I damaged it’s web.


I hope it will re-build as I want to keep an eye on it,


hey, you never know.


Stay Tuned for:

“Stop Larking Around!”


All material © 2013 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.


Inspirational images of the week:


‘Floating ripple vases’  by oodesign


Shaped like ripples in water, the vases by oodesign allows users to place flowers into a
PET formed resin void. The plants change their position within the container with the slightest breeze.

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1 Reed April 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

Enjoyed your pictures!

That last rain was truly godsent. I hope we are going to have a nice and wet spring.

Enjoyed the read, keep it coming!

2 Lori April 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I see what you did there. I see it. Just wait, my bucket is ready. ;)

3 ESP April 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Haha…I wondered how long it would take :-)

4 ESP April 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Hi Reed and happy you liked the post. Yes, let’s hope we get more rain before summer starts to kick in…which will not be long I fear.

5 Gail April 9, 2013 at 9:12 am

Looks like a cold front and possible storms are coming your way tonight (Tuesday). Something to look forward to!

Love the surfer dude picture of Mr. Kumo. He’s quite accomplished. :)

6 ESP April 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hi Gail…it does indeed, and yes it is!
We need all the weather we can get.
Our house elf is quite comfortable on a surfboard – riding the Patch pipeline.

7 Heather/xericstyle April 11, 2013 at 11:52 am

The rain was welcomed here as well – It is so nice to see everything get a deep soaking. I like how you made the water flow and surround your beds for extra reserves!!!!
That photo you took of your wife and daughter is AMAZING! Do you do photography on the side???? SO PRETTY! I DREAM of taking pictures of my family like that. :)

8 ESP April 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Hi Heather and wasn’t it just.

The grade on my property naturally funnels everything from our roof down the slope and into my back garden. With a few strategically positioned boulders to direct the flow further we have our very own Venice. I have been punting down these waterways on many occasions.

Thanks on the photo-front, every so often I capture a decent one :-) and no, no photography on the side…it would be a little embarrassing getting a client all ready only to pull out a tiny point and click. Haha.

Thanks for dropping in.

9 Desert Dweller/David C. April 17, 2013 at 9:41 am

Here’s Johnny! Odd, but here, the harder the wind blows sand and debris, the more it seems like Jack Torrance…trade?

I think your point-and-shoot camera skills are an interesting angle on portrait and garden photography…maybe that *is* your schtick? As I buy a replacement of my used-up, point-and-shoot Olympus, seeing your full use of features is inspiring me to hold off on buying one larger than my torso, to haul around.

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